According to TorrentFreak, more than 1.5 million people downloaded the “Game of Thrones” final episode in the first 12 hours after its initial airing on Sunday (June 15). The rate of illegal viewing has slowed only slightly since then — as many as 7.5 million downloads are expected in the first week after the show aired. That’s more than the initial legal ratings number of 7.1 million.
In addition to total numbers of downloaded videos, the “Game of Thrones” finale set a record for the largest BitTorrent swarm — the number of people sharing a file simultaneously — with more than 250,000 sharing at one point.
Where do people most want the show? The highest numbers of downloads went to regions where “Game of Thrones” airs legally — Australia, the U.S., the U.K and Canada.
HBO isn’t likely to get upset about this. Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes has been quoted as saying that the piracy numbers for “Game of Thrones” are “better than an Emmy” when it comes to gauging the show’s popularity.
Based on this newest data, “Game of Thrones” is really, really popular.